The Dutch designer and technologist Rein van der Mast is disrupting how fountain pens are made. Instead of relying on proven technology, in 2013 he started 3D printing titanium fountain pens and nibs. Today he started 3D printing both in 18K solid yellow and white gold.
There is the Spica Virginis, his latest design, resembling an ear of grain and named after the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, where in ancient drawings the virgin holds a bundle of grain ears. In 18K yellow gold the color perfectly matches the color of grain.
The pen is also available in 18K solid white gold. Van der Mast: “This type of white gold is developed for 3D printing, selective laser melting in particular. It is very white, and more important, it is very hard, eliminating the need for a rhodium coating.” He emphasizes that this is particularly useful for nibs. Van der Mast is the only one in the world 3D printing nibs and holds a patent application on it.
It writes beautifully. According to the Belgium fountain pen reviewer Dries Blues (pencilcaseblog.com): “The medium-broad nib writes like a dream. It offers a good amount of bounce, and some line variation if necessary. The feed provides a generous flow and keeps up well.”
Also the pen case is extraordinary. Its complex structure is called a ‘non-uniform lattice’. Structures like this are only feasible with 3D printing. The case is 3D printed in aluminum and is also available in coated Nylon.
Van der Mast: “For people who prefer the lightness of titanium, which is less than 1/3 of the density of gold, we offer our titanium version plated with a thick layer of 24K gold with a tiny amount of cobalt for better wear resistance.”